6 Tips to get the most from your immersion class:

Make mistakes

Learning a new language means learning by doing. Make mistakes, learn from them, and you will go far! Your teacher appreciates the effort you are making and is willing to help you out. You are not aiming for perfection here, you are aiming for progress. Making mistakes (and learning from them) will help you to progress. Start talking no matter what your current level is and you will reach a conversational level and make progress quickly. Maybe you will feel a little shy talking in another language but this is normal. Making mistakes is the best road to progress.

Make guesses

Your teacher will help you to understand what she/he is saying in many ways, So pay attention in your class and don’t give up quickly. Acting is a powerful tool when you are learning a new language. Avoid translations even in your mind. If you are learning a new word, for example “dog”, your teacher may show you a picture of a dog. Make the leap of faith that the word they are teaching is indeed “dog” -sometimes you may guess wrong, but you are teaching yourself the skill of guessing from the context -a skill you will need in real life whenever a native speaker uses a word or expression you don’t know.

Take your time

Don’t rush, take your time to build sentences and express your thoughts. Don’t worry, your teacher is very patient. Go at a pace you are comfortable with. Talk and participate actively in class, even if you need to take some time to think about what you want to say.

Leave English outside the classroom

Asking questions in English and having your teacher explain things in English may seem like the easy option. But the reality is that time spent in English is time stolen from the language you are learning. Using English hinders long term acquisition of your language; it gives you less exposure to vocabulary and grammar structures, removes the opportunity for real practice, and constantly taking the “easy” option will mean you don’t learn how to think in the language to construct your own sentences and ideas. Remember, each word you speak or hear in you language is another step towards your destination of language fluency. So before you enter your classroom take a big breath and leave English at the door. Listening, thinking and talking in your target language is a much more effective way to learn. Read about making the most of Immersion Learning  

Think in your target language

Thinking and talking in your target language is the best exercise you can do to memorise and make the words stick in your mind. For example, if your teacher teaches you the word for “apple” using pictures or real objects, don’t say the word in English -don’t even think the word in English. Keep to your target language and avoid translation – if you keep this up you will find you will be able to communicate much faster as your language skills improve.

Act it out

Don’t be shy about using your body to express yourself. Try to avoid the use of English. Imagine that you are in your target country or talking with a native speaker. What could you do if you didn’t know the word for “bird”?

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